Fighting Frailty with Senior Home Care
Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that 7% to 12% of Americans age 65 and older are frail. Naturally, the likelihood of frailty increases with age. Only 1 in 25 people between the ages of 65 and 74 are considered frail, but that ratio skyrockets to 1 in 4 for adults aged 84 or older.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that so many Southwest Houston residents struggle with frailty-related health issues–especially those who want to live alone.
Frailty poses considerable health risks for Southwest Houston’s seniors. In a study of 594 older adults, researchers at John Hopkins Medicine found that frailty more than doubles the risk of surgical complications, lengthens hospital stays, and increases the likelihood that nursing homes and assisted living will be needed by as much as twentyfold!
Fortunately, the John Hopkins research team also recommended some powerful frailty-fighting strategies, all of which synergize perfectly with our senior home care service.
Today’s post reviews all 4 of John Hopkins’ frailty-fighting tips and shows how our senior home care promotes your loved ones successful aging.
Fighting Frailty with Senior Home Care
- Identify frailty early. John Hopkins researchers stress the importance of identifying frailty issues early on so that treatments, assistive technologies, and support can be acquired as needed.The warnings signs are as follows:Shrinking. Has your loved one unintentionally lost 10+ pounds in the past year?2. Weakness. Do they have trouble standing without assistance? Have they lost considerable grip strength?
3. Exhaustion. Does every task your loved one completes feel like a heroic effort? Do they have trouble “getting going” 2-3 times per week?
4. Low activity level. Does your loved one find themselves doing less around the house, sloughing off workouts, or having less motivation to do the activities they do for fun?
5. Slow-paced walking. If it takes your loved one more than 6-7 seconds to walk 15 feet, their pace is considered slow.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s time for your loved one to discuss frailty with their doctor.
If you’re coordinating remote care for an aging parent, or simply want an extra pair of eyes and ears to spot these early warning signs, our senior home care team can help. We are specially trained in detecting the signs of frailty. Once these warning signs appear, we can book a doctor’s appointment for your loved one and provide full transportation and escort, staying in contact with you all the while.
- Get active most days of the week. “One cause of frailty is the age-related loss of muscle mass,” says one John Hopkins researcher. Accordingly, one of the best ways to fight frailty is to exercise regularly.Though it gets harder to meet the 150-minute aerobic exercise requirement as we age, every little bit helps! Our senior care team can create safe opportunities for gentle exercise, such as gardening and walks. We can also provide motivation, encouragement, and safety monitoring as your aging parent completes their favorite form of exercise.
- Eat well. In one study, people who faithfully followed a Mediterranean diet consisting of 3 wholesome meals containing fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and good fats were 74 percent less likely to become frail than their control group counterparts (Talegawkar et al., 2012, p. 2161).Unfortunately, many seniors opt for convenience foods, especially as their frailty begins to make meal preparation more difficult. That’s where our senior home care services shine–we take care of all the shopping, cooking, and clean-up, so your loved one eats well effortlessly.
- Keep your mind active and optimistic. “Positive feelings were shown to translate into a lower risk of frailty in one study,” researchers reported during the course of their meta-analysis. Our senior home care team helps your loved one stay positive and mentally engaged in a number of ways. Our companion carers help fight the effects of social isolation and forge meaningful connections with clients, while also offering a variety of games and activities to pass the time.
Learn More About Fighting Frailty with Senior Home Care in Southwest Houston (Katy)
Talegawkar, S. A., Bandinelli, S., Bandeen-Roche, K., Chen, P., Milaneschi, Y., Tanaka, T., & Ferrucci, L. (2012). A higher adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is inversely associated with the development of frailty in community-dwelling elderly men and women. The Journal of Nutrition, 142(12), 2161-2166.